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JEAN SHEPHERD–“THE BEST OF” & (30) ARTSY Guitar

I recently noted an LP record titled  “The Best of Jean Shepard.”

So I thought, why not a “Best of Jean Shepherd.”

This proves to be a difficult task to compile, in part because there are so many audios of his broadcasts and so many published stories and other works. My memory is deteriorating and I can’t listen to and reread all his published work. I’d appreciate suggestions about what to add to my list, including sources/dates and reasons for the choices.

As a representative selection for possible inclusion with my EYF! (which never happened–it was nixed by the publisher as too expensive) and for eventual distribution as a premium for WBAI, I compiled a CD-worth of excerpts from Shep programs.

RADIO

Assume that, as a given, I choose the broadcasts below because I feel or assume they are well-told besides having the particular attributes that especially gab me.

I, Libertine,.First comments and suggestion of a hoax. (4 ?/??/1956) One of the great “Holy Grail” Shepherd broadcasts. I have not heard it but I have thought about it and read little bits about it so often that it is a permanent part of my “memory,” and it must be one of the great moments in literary and shepherdian history.

March on Washington. Narrative told the day after the March. (8/29/1963) Shepherd describes his trip, not as a reporter, but as just another American. This conforms to his attitude as an informed and enthusiastic American patriot.

JFK Assassination. First day back on the air. (11/26/1963) Shepherd, from time to time, had described his feelings about psychological issues in America, and he takes this opportunity to reiterate some of them and link them to the assassination.

“Blues I Love to Sing.” Program I describe and partly transcribe in EYF! (6/16/1957) Shepherd interacts with the singer on the record and expresses his joy in the narrative situation he depicts. This but a ten minute portion of the four-hour program. He uses what is a familiar image from his earlier days of the “figure tattered and torn.”

“Why I am Such a Sorehead.” Discusses Mark Twain and Morse code–I describe in EYF! (1/6/1965) He integrates into his narration, Twain, one of his favorite predecessors. He develops the metaphor of the Mississippi as a dangerous path in life, and relates it to one of his favorite activities, Morse code, suggesting that we all have some activity that, in reality, we are not as good at as we think and hope we are.

“Shermy the Wormy.” My transcription in Shep’s Army. (9/4/1964)

“Fourth of July in the Army.” My transcription in Shep’s Army. (7/3/1963)

“Lister Bag Attack.” My transcription in Shep’s Army. (6/17/1966)

“Boredom Erupts.” My transcription in Shep’s Army. (9/18/1969)

“Private Sanderson.” My transcription in Shep’s Army. (1/13/1971)

“Naked Baseball in the Army.” Told on the air, published in Playboy.

“Troop Train Ernie.” Told on the air, published in Shep’s A Fistful of Fig Newtons as

“The Marathon Run Of Lonesome Ernie, The Arkansas Traveler”

“Og and Charlie.” He told stories several times about these two cave-man-type-near-humans. They were a good metaphor for how Shep felt that humanity still was–not quite the mentally/emotionally advanced race we think we are.

Peru–The whole group of programs focusing on his trip, from how it came about to when he got home to contemplate the experience. At the time, he felt it was the best travel experience he’d ever had.

In addition to all of the above, one must add some of the innumerable bits and pieces of his delightful and cuckoo musical interludes on his silly little instruments–including on his sometimes silly head.

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artsyfratsy 10010

(30) GUITAR

I made my own classical guitar. I’m fascinated by how the shape/formation of objects combine form with function. (It’s my design training still influencing me after all these years.) How does the form of a guitar contribute to its sound? Encountering a two-semester, adult evening class in constructing (not from a “kit”) a classical guitar from the raw materials one buys in a shop that supplies such to professionals, I took the course.
guitar head drawingguotar 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I kept notes and I took photos. Two parts of the classical guitar that might vary are the shape of the head and the luthier’s (guitar-maker’s) choice of how to configure the inside structural supports for the top of the body. I designed a simple, classical head, and chose internal struts for the body’s top that I thought would enforce high notes on the higher strings, and lower tones for the lower strings. I redrew all the instruction pages for the instructor’s future use–the upper left  of the head is one of my pages.

eb guitar rosette0002

An eb element of the rosette

around the sound hole.

I also designed and made the wooden rosette with my eb initials, and designed and installed my label.

label,rosetteguitar work 2

While I was peacefully working on my guitar construction, my then-wife, from Granada, Spain, threatened me with a kitchen carving knife and I grabbed and rolled up for protection, my Sunday New York Times Arts Section (Yes, the Arts Section–it was the closest at hand), and that’s as far as I’ll take that true story. Except that I did incorporate the episode into my fact/fiction unpublished novel, The Pomegranate Conspiracy.

I completed my guitar at the end of the course, and practiced playing, struggling

for several unsuccessful years. Now my guitar is hung on a wall.

20160609_133021 (4)

I love classical guitars and guitar music. I also like looking at Picasso’s guitar collages. So much so that I played around with one of his collage reproductions. First, with a color copier that scans one color at a time, I let it scan the first colors, then slightly shifted the original for the scanning of the black. Then I printed it and applied black-and-white photo prints of the underneath side of my guitar top, half on each side, with, in the middle, a photo of myself playing my newly completed guitar. One might title it:

“The Picasso/Bergmann Guitar Collage.”

Picasso guitar collage and eb (2)

I’m Conflicted About This Artsy Of Mine.

Is it a witty, clever, personal homage to an artist I greatly admire,

done by manipulating one of his works

(that he had first made by manipulating and reconstructing stuff),

or is it a fartsy, esthetic travesty for which I should be ashamed?

→  It is a unique collaged collage  

Would Picasso have liked it? *

ARTSY ARROWS0010

         *Picasso “Guitar” original for comparison. guitar collage (3) 

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JEAN SHEPHERD Foibles ahoy Part 3 of 3

Shepherd’s Og and Charlie stories we’ve known about focus on our brute-like heritage that hasn’t really changed. This would conform to the joke about the discovery of the missing link between our bestial past and civilized man.  The link, of course, is us, a part of Shepherd’s attitude that shows up consistently in other contexts.

neanderthal drawing

Us!

Thus, I was surprised upon beginning to listen to an “Og and Charlie” from the 1964-1965 Syndicated Shepherd series, because he begins by emphasizing the birth and development of music, with Og starting mankind off on this aesthetically joyous and peaceful path, suggesting a variation on the old saw—about music having charms to soothe those savage brutes.  Well, I figured that Ol’ Shep has bamboozled me here: Og’s creation of music in this story shows that he has evolved and we really are headed onward and upward.

Then Shepherd links our musical world to that other part of our heritage by playing more music—some headhunter chants as they return from a successful raid, commenting that “We’re all in it together,” emphasizing the downer with: “You, Beethoven, the headhunter.”  Yes, Shepherd has been consistent after all—we’re still a bit bestial.  With one Og and Charlie story, that Ol’ Shep has double-bamboozled me.

beethoven

Us?

To end on a corny and platitudinous note (pun?), I’ve always found music to be one of the most glorious, varied, and elegant inventions–whether I understand or enjoy the specific form or not!

download

Dee Snider of Twisted Sister,

singing their marvelous

“We’re Not Gonna Take it”

musical staff

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JEAN SHEPHERD–Foibles ahoy! Part 2 of 3

[Remember the content of Part 1 of these “Foibles ahoy” posts]

So, without proclaiming his political biases, Jean Shepherd suggested that some human attitudes led to poor political beliefs.  In this regard, some of the ideals of “liberty” and “freedom” from all restrictions had, in the recent memory, led to wars and atrocities.  Much violence and various assassinations of the ‘60s soon confirmed some of Shepherd’s worst fears and predictions.

This idea of Shepherd’s, that the young especially were too naïve and sometimes went off too willingly to follow some leader toward idealistic and impractical goals, would cause him to be labeled a conservative, although it was clear that his overall tendencies, observed over decades of broadcasts, were unmistakably liberal. (He even, on the air, once confirmed his liberal bias.)  And, giving the young much credit, a bit later in that same program, he said that he did not have this awareness when he was that young, and admiringly commented that “The very young are showing an almost frightening political awareness.”  His thoughts, such as the one just discussed, would only deal with some current social issue in a more philosophical way regarding human nature, although several of his friends and his third wife, Lois Nettleton, have noted that he had very strong political opinions.  He rarely ever directly hinted at those opinions on the air.

As folk wisdom has it, one should not discuss strongly held beliefs on politics and religion in public.  As he nearly always adhered to this, and seldom made a direct comment, one has the impression that he was not traditionally religious.  A listener remembers him once saying that his family had been Presbyterian.  In this rarity, he mentioned the subject directly:

I am not a religious type—as you can probably tell from my work….Religion never played a role in my life. (August 13, 1973)

During the same program Shepherd said that he never attended Sunday school or church and claimed that upon joining the Army, a capital D was duly put on his dog tags when he insisted on being recognized as a Druid.

Regarding Shepherd’s attitude toward strongly held beliefs of various kinds, one occasionally encounters a comment.  One of the many periodicals to which Shepherd contributed has recently come to light.  Fact Magazine for their July/August 1967 article titled “America is Splitting Apart” polled “thirty well-known Americans to determine who they currently hold in high esteem.”  Shepherd’s contributions, consistent with his usual questioning nature, began:

john birch

I think that the term “heroism” today has very little meaning because most of us define heroism as the thing we agree with.  For example, a John Birch member thinks he’s a heroic person because he’s fighting against Communism.  On the other hand, a person like Joan Baez believes she’s heroic because she’s maintaining a stand against Vietnam.  And they do not even consider the other side. 

Bob-Dylan+Joan-Baez_1963

John Birch Society, Bob Dylan, Joan Baez. Gee Whiz, what a combo!

The 1960s were a complex, exciting gallimaufry. I’m really delighted that I was alive for it all! Without suggesting my attitudes at the time, I report here that a friend arm-twisted me into attending a Birch Society meeting (“Just to see what this new phenomenon is like”), and, seeming to be in another world, I attended the Forest Hills Stadium, Joan Baez (non-political) concert in which, after the intermission, she introduced onto the stage to sing, a scraggly-looking  guy I’d never heard of: Bob Dylan, who sang a weirdly monotone “A Hard Rain,” or maybe it was “Blowin’ in the Wind.” Whichever–I was so fascinated by the odd-sounding songs and voice that the next morning I went out and bought his first two-and-only albums. (Note that I do not comment on the political content of J.B.S., B.D., J.B. I was, and still am, in most ways, too likely to “see both sides” of an issue, and too naive.)

Part 3 to come

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JEAN SHEPHERD–Foibles ahoy! Part 1 of 3

MY PHILOSOPHY

What do I believe?  Carry on—I believe in persistence.  A little bit of Galahad, a touch of Lancelot, a touch of Alonso Quijana, and thus perhaps, a touch of the idealist—which is to say, the fool in search of intellectual adventure with no protective covering but an endless supply of stuffing, which is to say, excelsior!  We each have our own quests: Shep for more fame and acknowledgment; little Ralphie Parker for a BB gun; and I—well, you know my heart’s desire, so now, as the Lord of La Mancha sings it, “My destiny calls and I go.”

man-lamancha.Curtis Brown foto

(Photo: Curtis Brown)

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SHEP PHILOSOPHY

I frequently pat myself on the back regarding my research and writing about Shepherd.  Early during research I’d created subject categories regarding his work, and I found that everything I encountered could logically fit into one of them.  As I continue listening to more old broadcasts and reading more articles, things he said which many listeners might pay little attention to, strike a chord for me as I fit them into categories and patterns I’d earlier discovered.

But in addition to the pat on the back, I’m at times startled to encounter cause to give myself a swift poke in the ribs.  For example, I recently reheard a program from a Saturday early afternoon in 1960, when he was still in the more pervasively philosophical mode that he later entered less frequently.  

From time to time though, he would speak with pride of his perceptions, which often led to accurate predictions.  Yet regarding one such prediction, I’d failed to mention his musings of a few minutes further into that program when he’d noted—at the very beginnings of the 1960s—what he saw as a disturbing trend in America.  Back then, he could not have known, as we do now, how his forebodings would be confirmed by events in that turbulent decade.

SOON TO COME IN THE 1960s:

RIOTS

ASSASSINATIONS

He led up to his pessimistic view of the near future by mentioning an old soldier in a movie talking about peace and brotherhood—all the ideals—and then Shepherd questioned whether people were basically peaceful or warlike. He’d questioned this from time to time, sometimes associated with his stories of the not-quite civilized cavemen, Og and Charlie.  But here he was concerned with another aspect of human foibles—a mentality that was growing out of unrest—an idealistic belief that “peace“ and “justice,” and all those other good things, were being thwarted by some ignorant and self-serving people who, in effect, were “evil.”  If only we could get rid of those bad people and their attitudes!  If only some drastic act could be carried out that would ignite the smoldering, disenchanted masses.  So that the disenchanted would burst into action and change the world for the better.

He said that “what we think we are is not what we are.”  He proceeded with a commentary that we must understand came several years before the political and philosophical divide that he would see as being, in part, behind the assassination of President Kennedy in late 1963.  The divide that he would see as having precipitated the conflicts to come between what he saw as naïve idealism of student radicals and status quo of the self-satisfied establishment.  Remember that this 1960 commentary of Shepherd’s came over three years before the Kennedy assassination and over four years before the University of California at Berkeley demonstrations—the “Free Speech Movement” and the mid-twentieth century’s uses of civil disobedience and confrontations that as tools for social reform could turn violent:

free speech

There is a great unrest during peace, and let me tell you, there are some fantastic signs, and I’m going to say it right here, though it’s Saturday morning, that if you look at the paper very carefully, the little items not the big items, there is a profound unrest that is running through the world that is not —I don’t know whether it’s good or bad, or whether it’s— who knows, you see.  You cannot cast forward in history. 

For example, it was unheard of for maybe 18,000 years for a group of high school seniors to boo their principal—when they were graduating from high school.  Now this is an interesting thing.  It seems to me that there is rampant in the air a kind of uncontrolled—rebellion.  Now I don’t mean—see, I’m certainly not for conformism.  I’m 15,000 levels against conformism of any kind.  But on the other hand you cannot confuse non-conformism with anarchism.  That’s another thing entirely.

And it’s fascinating to me to see all sides, everywhere you look, all sides, there is developing a kind of fuse that seems to be already lighted.  That all it takes, I think, and I suspect that all it will take one day, among the youth of today—I’m talking about the very youthful youth of today—all it will take will be some guy to leap up, who has “a plan.”  And the next thing you know, we [laughs]—Nellie, bar the door! 

Particularly if more things, more pressures, are exerted on America from outside our borders.  All it will take will be some guy because—this is the same sort of anarchism that was breaking out all over Germany in the very early 1920s among the very young people.  A kind of “let’s march,” and no one knows where to march, a kind of “let’s get angry—arrgggg!”  You know it’s very important to be angry today—if you’re not angry you’re just nowhere.  And it’s a kind of anger that burns like a flame but has no direction at all.  Just burns.  A kind of profound unrest with life.  Just a-a-a kind of disgruntlement.  I mean, how long has it been since you’ve really been gruntled?  (July 2, 1960)

Part 2 to come

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JEAN SHEPHERD–Allegories/metaphors Part 3

The question of metaphors and allegories is not an easy one to answer in any definitive way. Certainly to create and perceive a story as mainly or only a metaphor would be rather simple-minded. Yet some of our most important.memorable stories in our culture are allegorical in nature. The allegory is preferably not up front in our minds as we read it, but is an undercurrent. Some stories that come to mind:

Moby Dick

The Old Man and the Sea

The Grapes of Wrath

The parables of Jesus

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Joel Baumwoll brings some intelligent, thoughtful comments to the discussion:

<Methinks we need to be careful reading too much into his work. I agree with Murphy. Sure there are messages in his stories. They all have to do with the human condition. Huck Finn was a metaphor? No, it was a story about how people are and think.

The famous battle of the tops has been referred to as a metaphor for the mutual destruction of nuclear war. I think it unlikely he started with a plan to write a story which would be a metaphor for that and arrived at the battle of the tops as the answer.

I take issue with the anti-war interpretation of the BB Gun story. The woman with the button that said “disarm the toy industry represented a but of a kook, I think, who finds danger in so many things. Remember, the BB Gun fantasy Shep described was protecting his family from marauders (Black Bart). One might even say he was supporting the NRA idea that we should have guns in our homes for our own protection against evil. He ended the sequence by saying the BB Gun was the best present he had ever received or EVER WOULD RECEIVE! Now that is a big statement.

A lot of Shep’s stories had to do with fantasies and dreams dashed by reality. Zudock’s plan to build a house from a kit, Shep and friends building a hot air balloon and burning down the high school, Bumpus’ dogs eating the ham or turkey…etc etc…The theme of the poem Excelsior speaks to that.

In any case, I suggest we take his stories on face value for their insights,humor and fun.

Knees loose gang, metaphorically speaking.
Joel>

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Without suggesting any definitive answers, I respond with the following:

Barry Farber (quoted in my EYF!) said that Shep delighted in Farber’s finding the metaphors he was suggesting in his stories–of course, maybe Shep was simply playing around and didn’t really mean it–or only meant it at that particular moment.

As for the BB gun story, Ralphie’s sequined attire is a child’s silly fantasy of reality (what cowboys are/were really like). Ralphie’s idea of his personal reality is indeed a “rhinestone cowboy.” He is, as I like to put it about superficial imitations, a rhinestone in the rough. ralphie rhinestonecowboy As are the bad guy’s phony prison get-up and their ease of defeat, and the cartoon-like crosses over their eyes to represent that they are “dead.” We laugh in part because we know that a BB gun wouldn’t stop real criminals. All that is a put-down of Ralphie’s “reasoning” of why he should have a gun. And that the BB ricochets back and hits him is surely an irony (a metaphor) for what might easily happen with weapons.

That Ralphie, at the movie’s end, hugging the gun that nearly shot his eye out, muses that “the BB Gun was the best present he had ever received or EVER WOULD RECEIVE! ” I suggest that:

1. Whatever the present would have been, as it was his supremely hoped-for one, of course it was the best present he’d ever receive, especially as narrator-Shep nostalgically envisions it;

2. As his father (a bit of a curmudgeon) gave it to him, it was a special bond that Ralphie thus formed with him;

3. As I comment in EYF! the sweet and idealistic ending of the parents snuggling in the glow of tree-and-snowACS mom and dad
may well have been an arm-twisted finish the movie studio insisted on after all the funny downers the movie is replete with–Ralphie’s childish thoughts in bed as the movie closes could be seen as another sugar-coated dumpling.

ACS ralph in bed.rifle

The long horizontal line below represents the end ↓

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JEAN SHEPHERD’s Og and Charlie

I love Shepherd’s “Og and Charlie” stories.

 

New York Times January 30, 2014:

Studies Show a Little Bit

Of Neanderthal in Us All

Ever since the discovery in 2010 that Neanderthals interbred with the ancestors of living humans, scientists have been trying to determine how their DNA affects people today. Now two new studies have traced the history of Neanderthal DNA, and have pinpointed a number of genes that may have medical importance today. (Carl Zimmer  reporting)

neanderthal drawingNeanderthal?

Some believe that the Neanderthals were gentle, peaceful guys–and gals–but mostly we think of them as having been less than fully human brutes–less civilized than we are–maybe slaughtering each other even more than we do. Shep (as do many of us today) probably referred to less-civilized contemporaries of his as “Neanderthals.” Sort of like in that comedy team of “Og and Charlie.” (I saw them once at a burlesque house in Hoboken. Og wore a loincloth and carried a semi-automatic. Charlie wore a pinstripe thong and carried a seltzer bottle. Any of you who remember the routine will recall that after the silly little incident with the seltzer bottle–in the finale, Og slaughters Charlie. ♦If you believe this little Hoboken story of mine, you also still believe that all of Shep’s stories are verifiably true. At the beginning of a new, good, movie, “American Hustle,” I encountered this announcement appropriate to the issue: “SOME OF THIS ACTUALLY HAPPENED.”)

Shepherd told “Og and Charlie” stories a  number of times, as I discuss in my EYF! page 234-239:

Typically, Shepherd brought specific issues back to the problem within us. Although never put in religious terms, Shepherd frequently expressed an attitude not unlike a belief in original sin:

There’s only one problem, of course, in the end, and that is–why is mankind the way he is, and why is he so miserable? And that’s been the subject of all the great literature since  time began.

Why is it that we always discuss the results of some sickness in the human soul and we never really discuss the sickness? We discuss the war, and never discuss what brings about wars.

….and I might say that the same things that made that fistfight occur are always within people. Don’t think for a minute that they go away. You know we have this beautiful feeling among ourselves–this is one of the great illusions of mankind–and it is that he is a perfectible creature–like say–a portable typewriter can be perfected. That next year’s model is better than last year’s model.

Last year’s models were Og and Charlie, caveman types who appeared in Shep tales from time to time. Og with the primitive name, Charlie with the contemporary guy-next-door name. They were a linked pair. They seemed to be minor bit players–primitive comic relief around the edges of Shepherd’s world. They were not. Og and Charlie were central. They were “the only problem,” the sickness in the human soul, the things that made fistfights occur. One identified with Og and Charlie–they seemed so human. Yes–and they were brutes, not very far about the lower forms of land dwellers. Without the intervening evolution from lake dwellers through reptiles to primates, we crawled directly out of the ooze. Jean Shepherd described them:

There must have been the very first time when Og and Charlie crawled out of the muck and out of the mire–that ancient primordial lake from whence sprang all of us…and Og and Charlie crawled out of the ooze and the slime.

neanderthal-faceThis is Og. Charlie was clean-shaven and tweezed his eyebrows.

The researchers concluded that Neanderthals and modern humans must have interbred….Sir Paul A Mellars, an archaeologist…said that archaeological evidence suggested the opportunity for modern humans to mate with Neanderthals would have been common once they expanded out of Africa. “They’d be bumping into Neanderthals at every street corner,” he joked. [Don’t dwell too deeply on that one, ladies.]

….Living human beings do not have a lot of Neanderthal DNA, Dr. Reich [who led the research team] found, but some Neanderthal genes have become very common.That is because, with natural selection, useful genes survive as species evolve.

neanderthahl diagram sciencemag.org

Shepherd told other Og and Charlie stories from time to time. One in EYF! goes this way:

You know there was a historic moment that was recorded by one of the great physical anthropologist–at the University of Pennsylvania. And he has reconstructed it. I thought you might like to know about it. It was one of the great–it was the time that man became man. It was a very important moment. These two guys are sitting on the shores of this antediluvian lake….

Then, without saying a word he reached down, picked up a large stone, raised it above his head, and brought it down with a telling, fatal crash between the eyes of Charlie. In that instant, man became man. He ceased being a beastie of the field….That moment modern man was born. that instant! It was the great, great turning point. and Charlie fell in a pool of blood, Og settled back on his haunches and continued to look out over the lake.

But they were seen–by another man, who crouched by his cave. He picked up a rock and moved into the shadows. And waited. Modern man had begun to progress.

An Internet article challenges that Neanderthals and Homo sapiens interbred: “The researchers say the DNA crossover is actually a remnant from a common ancestor from half a million years ago, not a result of Homo sapiens and Neanderthals interbreeding.” Oh yeah, so’s yer aunt Tillie! Whichever. Shep’s argument is still the essence of that old joke: “They’ve found the common ancestor of civilized man. It’s us.”

The Og and Charlie stories that I remember on WOR all ended in some sort of calamity indicating the pre-human/inhuman nature of the two beasts. And then, it so happens, I recently remembered the Og and Charlie story Shepherd told for his Syndicated shows in 1964-1965. It occurs in the boxed set titled KICKS, CD 3 “Og and Charlie.” Here are some excerpts of what I wrote:

Jean Shepherd told listeners so entertainingly over the years, in powerful fables, that Og and Charlie were us. In this episode, Shepherd tells us about the same Og and Charlie, those primitive men, but here emphasizes a far more benign theme than his usual story of brutality. In fact, as the subject is the birth and development of music, one can almost imagine a variation on the old saw–about music having charms to soothe those savage brutes.

Shepherd has always been a great enthusiast of music ever since high school when he became, as he once put it, “a dedicated tuba man.”   This program is filled with music of many kinds, starting with Shepherd’s over-the-top mimicking of primitive music and lyrics, then launching into a little lesson on origins with his caveman Og pounding a simple beat, then adding some simple vocal sounds until what one can recognize as a song of sorts emerges. He suggests that this invention of music was a great “kick.”

…he introduces the spiritual as well as the emotional aspects of music, as words with music are used to beseech the gods. Emphasizing the high level on which he regards music, he comments and elaborates on the idea of the musician as a magical creature, worshiped in the guise of Beethoven, Charlie Parker, and other varied notables.

The variety of music and musicians he presents emphasizes his theme of the broad importance of music to all of us….Toward the end of the program, he even uses a recording of what he claims is a headhunting tribe chanting a victory tune, returning home from a successful hunt, their trophies stuck on poles. How’s that for variety? Variety as a means to bring us back to Og and Charlie. He wants us to recognize our kinship with Og and other savages: “We’re all in it together, there’s no question about it, the same primal urge exists.” He repeats the idea: “You, Beethoven, the headhunter. It’s the eternal music of the spheres.” And I’ll bet you thought you’d left the cavemen far behind and you could pat yourself on your oh-so-musically civilized back!

Shep has described us all–we,

Og and Charlie–

are still those primal savages.

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 (Aunt Tillie is the one to the left of Og):og.charlie.us profiles

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